by Brian Slawson
Instrumentation: Crotales (upper octave), Glockenspiel. Xylophone, 2 vibraphones, 3 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low F, (1) low C, 4 timpani, Drums (bongos, concert bass drum, small single-headed bass drum, 5 concert toms), Cymbals & gongs (jing gong, 2 suspended cymbals, cymbal for rolling on timpani, China cymbal, trash cymbal, tam tam), Accessories (water Chime C, slapstick, African claves, water triangle, 2 pairs of maracas, claves, anvil, thunder tube, 2 sets of energy chimes, cowbell, LP vibra-tone, vibraslap, bow, mark tree, small cowbell, woodblock, templeblocks, sleighbells)
During the summer of 1947, a “weather balloon” crashed outside of Roswell, New Mexico. The events surrounding its recovery sparked one of the greatest conspiracy theories in U.S. history. Was it an alien flying saucer that crashed into the New Mexico desert on that stormy summer night? Had the Air Force been tracking an unidentified flying object for several days prior to the event? Were alien bodies recovered? The official government statement reported that the wreckage was from a downed high altitude weather balloon involved in a top-secret project called Operation Mogul. What is the truth? You be the judge.
Brian S. Mason’s Roswell, 1947 is a programmatic work inspired by the events and activity surrounding the Roswell Incident. This through-composed work follows the progression of those events:
- The Desert Night
- The Stormy Crash
- Discovering the Wreckage
- Controversy and Conflict of Viewpoints
- Are They Out There?
Other programmatic elements include the use of Morse code (spelling the word A-L-I-E-N-S), as well as the use of pitch organization based on the numbers 1-9-4-7 (root, M9, P4, M7, and their inversions). To link the intrigue of the conspiracy to the overall mood of the work, Roswell, 1947 seeks to elicit curiosity and mystery in the mind of the listener.
Roswell, 1947 comes in a TOP SECRET folio+CD-ROM which will unlock the secrets allowing percussion ensembles to communicate this mysterious story.